Monica Ruiz could not have been more shocked to see how the ad for the stationary bike took off. "I was happy to accept a job opportunity earlier this year from Peloton and the team was lovely to work with," Ruiz said in a statement. "Although I'm an actress, I am not quite comfortable being in [the] spotlight and I'm terrible on social media. So to say I was shocked and overwhelmed by the attention this week (especially the negative) is an understatement."
When the ad came out, one of the first things viewers noticed was her dramatic facial expressions. Is she frightened? Concerned? Is she being forced to get into cycling against her will?
Many accused the ad of promoting an outdated and sexist interpretation of marriage. The husband brings home an exercise bike for his wife. Maybe they’re trying to get into fitness together? It didn’t appear that the bike was something she had asked for, which many viewers found uncomfortable. Though it wasn’t explicitly stated, many thought he was giving her unsolicited fitness advice.
Since the Peloton ad, Ruiz snagged another major commercial spot with Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin. The ad continues the story of Peloton wife without explicitly acknowledging it. “Grace from Boston” is joined by two friends after a rough day. As they sit at the bar, each with a gin-based cocktail in their hand, her friends seem unable to broach an unknown subject, which we are left to assume is her seasons long Peloton vlog series from the ad before. “You look great by the way,” her friend comments.
In the past, Peloton has been criticized for targeting a privileged consumer base while espousing to be, at least in the eyes of Peloton CEO John Foley, “crazy affordable.” Some people theorize that Peloton targeted its own privilege and made a self-aware, viral ad. Peloton released a statement following the ad debut and didn’t suggest or confirm that was the intent of the ad, and neither does Ruiz’s statement. Guess this one will remain a mystery of sincerity vs. trolling forever.